17th Jan, 2022

Businesses urged to look after their employees' mental health following Covid-19 pandemic

Sarah Mason 13th Dec, 2020

A MAJOR initiative aiming to boost economic productivity is calling on businesses across the region to prioritise their employees’ mental health after Covid-19.

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP), funded by Midlands Engine, is being delivered across the Midlands and is urging employers to support and improve the mental health of their workforce – and boost their bottom line at the same time at no financial cost.

A report published as part of the MHPP in November by the University of Warwick’s Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) found the Covid-19 pandemic has made the issue of mental health in the workplace more important than ever.

MHPP’s research found workers were less likely to talk to managers about experiencing mental health problems since lockdown.

New triggers to poor mental health were revealed, including furlough, furlough envy, isolation and additional home stresses.

Overall, a lack of support for workplace mental health problems could reduce productivity in the region by a quarter.

Even before the pandemic, one in six workers suffered because of their mental health.

A report by Deloitte in early 2020 found that poor mental health results in lost productivity that costs UK businesses an estimated £45 billion per year – an increase of 16 per cent since 2017.

MHPP’s three-year project will help employer establish initiatives that can boost their employees’ mental health.

MHPP is being led by Coventry University in partnership with the University of Warwick, the West Midlands Combined Authority, mental health charity Mind and the universities of Birmingham, Derby, Lincoln, Loughborough and Nottingham.

Prof Guy Daly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) at Coventry University, said: “The cost of mental health issues to businesses is astonishing, yet many are either not aware of the scale of the problem or do not know how to go about tackling it.

“By using MHPP and the resources it provides, businesses can make such a difference to the health of their employees and, therefore, their productivity too.”

Any business looking to improve mental health in their workplaces should visit mhpp.me/employers

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